If you’ve ever bought a new car that turned out to be a lemon, you may be familiar with the term “Lemon Law.” The Lemon Law protects consumers who purchase vehicles that turn out to have significant defects that can’t be fixed after a certain number of attempts. Each state lemon law is different, and the Lemon Law Presumption is what makes California’s lemon law particularly strong.
Under the California Lemon Law, your vehicle is considered a “lemon” if a “reasonable” number of repair attempts have been made on your vehicle and the defect has not gone away. The Lemon Law Presumption provides guidelines for when that “reasonable” number has been met. That doesn’t mean any other number of repairs means your vehicle isn’t a lemon.
The Lemon Law Presumption refers to a specific part of the law, called the Tanner Consumer Protection Act. If your vehicle meets the criteria under the Lemon Law Presumption, that means your vehicle is “presumed” to be a lemon. When that happens, it’s now the manufacturer’s job to prove your vehicle isn’t a lemon, not your job to prove that your vehicle is defective.
The Lemon Law Presumption kicks in when one of these situations happens with your vehicle:
- Four or more repair attempts have been made for the same problem
- Two or more repair attempts have been made for a problem that could cause death or serious bodily injury
- The vehicle has been out of service for more than 30 cumulative days for repairs.
- Additionally, the problem must have happened within 18 months of the delivery date, or before the car has been driven for 18,000 miles, whichever happens first.
If your vehicle is found to be a lemon, you may be entitled to a vehicle replacement or a lemon law refund. If you think you may have a case under the California Lemon Law, it’s important to consult with an experienced lemon law attorney. Consultations are free at most lemon law firms, and an attorney can help you understand your lemon law rights and guide you through the process of getting a replacement or refund for your defective vehicle.
Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2016–Present vehicle models only. However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states. To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our California Lemon Law Guide for more information.